The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 25, 2014

Schools eye same sports-sharing policy

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON -- Since 1982 the state of Iowa has allowed athletic sharing agreements between neighboring school districts and it is anticipated that the Clinton School District will continue to take advantage of that allowance into the 2014-2015 school year.

However, there may be some changes to the policy when it comes to a vote on April 14.

During a Clinton School Board Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Clinton High School Athletic Director Gary Lueders requested the approval of next year’s sharing agreement, understanding that those changes could occur.

“I know there’s been some discussion with various neighboring schools about how we do what we do and how we do it,” Lueders said. “(But) this is the time of the year where we come to the board and ask, in our case, to renew the existing agreements with some of our neighboring schools for various sports.”

The discussion referenced by Lueders came from a letter issued in January from administrators at Prince of Peace Prep School asking the Clinton district to “consider a different perspective as to the formula” in the way it charges Prince of Peace for student-athlete participation, a policy that has always been in place between the two schools.

Clinton board member Eric Gettes questioned Lueders on Monday, asking if he had faced any backlash since the beginning of the discussion between the two schools and asking if it was a system he felt comfortable with.

“Have you had any repercussions from the request that we received earlier this year to amend our fee for people who are participating, that said ‘well if you’re not going to change that, then we’re not going to do this anymore?’” asked Gettes.

As of Monday, Lueders had not received any phone calls, complaints or inquiries about the sharing agreement and said since the issue surfaced he had done research on the subject as well.

The information he found confirmed there are a variety of ways schools approach an athletic-sharing agreement, including a pay-per-participate method, a flat rate fee or no cost at all.

However, in his career at Clinton High School and his former position in the Northeast School District, the per-participant cost is all he’s been a part of and feels comfortable continuing that process.

“It’s all over the board,” Lueders said. “There’s flat fees, there’s little or no charges and then there’s what we do is a we determine a per- participant cost and that’s how we bill the schools. And it’s not really a true per-participant cost, we don’t take all of the expenses that go into a particular program. We’ve basically just focused on supplies and salaries and kind of come up with that figure.”

While the board expects it will accept the athlete-sharing agreement as they have in the past, a final decision or policy will not be determined until the next regular school board meeting April 14.